Competitive threats to Europe's space industry posed by India and China - as well as opportunities for co-operation - are to be the focus of a €200,000 ($296,000) European Space Agency study.
The study will assess opportunities in the two Asian markets, analyse China and India's "domains of excellence", the competitive threats to European industry and the developing countries' strategies and technologies that Europe "may wish to emulate". The study will also review political, regulatory, economic and business aspects affecting European industry's competitiveness in these markets.
"Chinese and Indian launchers are active and competitive in service provision to commercial customers worldwide. The investment in defence and institutional programmes supports the development of commercial products. The level of resources committed and the priority given...are very substantial in absolute terms," says ESA, The Indian Space Research Organisation's Antrix, it adds, is "participating in the development of the domestic space industry in a novel organisational approach".
ESA says the two countries account for 37% of the world population, having extensive networks of "top-level" scientists and engineers, with "buoyant industrialisation" and an incomplete telecommunication terrestrial infrastructure. It describes "explosive growth" in the countries' demand for voice, internet access and mobile telephony and the potential for satellite television growth.
The "survey of the Chinese and Indian telecom space industry and market" is to be contracted out and overseen by ESA's telecommunications and integrated applications directorate under the ARTES 1 period two, phase four programme. The contract is for up to €200,000 and the closing date for bids is 1 September.